It wasn’t my dream to be a teacher.
By Elizabeth English (USA)
When I moved to Rome in August of 2021, I didn’t have much of a plan at all besides finishing my last year of university. My degree is in communications and teaching English wasn’t even a thought in my mind at first. Of course, I had heard of people who taught English in other countries for a living-I had even considered getting the TEFL certification when I was a teenager-but I thought it was too good to be true.
But then, life happened. Ask any expat and they will tell you, moving to a new country is very hard. It’s also amazing and rewarding and freeing; but building a life that you love from the ground up is not easy.
I experienced a huge amount of stress and culture shock my first few months in Italy and because of that I couldn’t keep up with my classes, so I dropped out of university. On top of the stress and culture shock, I felt like a complete failure because nothing seemed to be going right. I started thinking about moving back to the U.S. and even went so far as to start packing my bags. (Just wait, the story gets better, I promise) But, before I completely gave up, I started frantically searching for ways to support myself that didn’t require any Italian language skills-because at that point I didn’t speak or understand any Italian.
And here is where the story gets better (told you). While I was doing a “Jobs in Rome, Italy” Google search, I found TEFL in Italy. They had a posting for a Teaching and Social Media Marketing Internship that could either give you a huge discount on getting the Trinity CertTESOL certification or working a little longer to get it completely free! That was perfect for me, because my career goal is to become a social media marketing manager, so with this internship not only was I getting one job skill that I needed immediately, I was also getting practical experience working in the field of my choice. Win-win!
I applied and within a week I was accepted. Miriam (the school’s director) was so kind and helpful throughout the whole process. She made everything simple and flexible, which was a godsend.
I started the 10-week Online Blended TEFL Course and my internship in October of 2021. The instructional classes met once a week and there were also weekly one-on-one meetings with the course trainer to help with lesson planning and to give general feedback and advice on performance. After the first few weeks, teaching practice started, and I was able to get firsthand experience leading classes both online and in-person.
People who take this online TEFL course and who are not located in Rome, still get the option to come and teach in-person at the school. However, you can also complete the course 100% online. The good thing about this course is the online teaching practice, a skill that most English teachers don’t have when they are just starting their careers. So, really, there’s no downside.
It’s worth saying that the TEFL and Marketing internship is not paid, however, it is an amazing opportunity because it allows you to get an accredited English teaching certification at a very discounted price, or even completely free.
I will say that if you can do the internship in-person, do it! Rome is a gorgeous living museum and being able to live here is a dream. Everywhere you go there is something to appreciate or inspire you. Historical art, ancient ruins, amazing food, and friendly people are only a few reasons I am happy to call this city home. Outside of working hours, I spend most of my time exploring and enjoying becoming a part of my community. Rome is so big, so ancient, and so alive; there is always something new to discover here.
As my internship is coming to an end, all I can say is that I am happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of the TEFL in Italy family for so many months. I met a lot of interesting people along the way, I got a lot of practical experience with social media management, and I was even able to start working as an English teacher right away, so it’s been a great experience.
Moving to a new country is a big step and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. Starting a new life is not as simple as booking a flight. BUT, if you want to have an amazingly rewarding experience that will add a lot of joy and depth to your life, I can’t recommend becoming a trinity CertTESOL English teacher through TEFL in Italy enough. I’m really happy I chose to do this course.